Surviving the River Wild

dsc010114Two weekends ago, the same weekend we brought Kingston home, Mr. S and I went for a little adventure. As if getting a new puppy wasn’t enough for us we decided to go river rafting. The owner of Sawtooth Adventure Company, Jared Hopkinson, spoke in one of Mr. S’ classes last year and ever since that Mr. S has been talking about going. I’ve always wanted to experience some good whitewater rapids so it didn’t take much convincing. But since we spent the majority of last year planning a wedding, the trip didn’t happen until this year.

We packed our bags for the weekend and headed to the thriving city of Stanley, ID, population 100. Don’t be fooled by the small number of residents. There happens to be an Upper and Lower Stanley and I am convinced that late at night the locals meet in the middle and have regular rumbles to decide who the dominant half of the city is, West Side Story style. And what Stanley lacks in residents it more than makes up for in beauty.

When we booked the trip a couple of months ago I was certain the weather would cooperate. Little did I know that Utah/Idaho was going to be hit with the wettest June in the last 10 years with record low temperatures. Luckily when we checked in I was reassured I would keep warm with whatever gear I needed. I was offered a wet suit, fleece, rain suit, and neoprene water shoes. I chose all of the above. Once we were suited up we met our guide, Jenna, and a group of 4 friends that would be joining us in our raft. Jenna was a delight. The others, not so much. They were all intoxicated from a night of drinking that had apparently ended just a few minutes before they arrived. And I was certain at least one of them was going to throw up once the rapids unsettled their stomachs. My only request was that they aim for outside the boat.

Sawtooth Adventure Company boast the motto: Idaho’s One Stop Adventure Stop. And had we had more time we might have participated in a longer rafting trip, some mountain climbing or maybe a scenic flight over the Sawtooth Mountains. But our adventure that day was the High Adventure Trip, a 10 mile float down the Salmon River experiencing class II, III, and IV rapids. Thanks to the high water levels, we had some moments of excitement but managed to all stay in the boat. Including my intoxicated friends. The really exciting rapids didn’t last as long as I had hoped but we had a good time. And for those long stretches where we did nothing but float, Jenna made sure to share her knowledge of the Stanley area while we enjoyed the beauty of our surroundings.img_2194We finished in about 3 hours and by that time my hands were pretty cold. When we got back to Sawtooth Adventure Company headquarters a steaming cup of hot chocolate found its way into my hands and slowly my body started to warm up. I was also able to view pictures that were taken by another employee at various points throughout our float. And unlike most places that rape your wallet for just one good picture, I was able to purchase a cd with ALL of our pictures for $15. That’s what I call service.

Mr. S and I are already talking about going back and doing a multi-day float trip next year. Want to join us?

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